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Sunday, January 27, 2008

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3rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 8:23—9:3
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
Psalm 27
Matthew 4:12-23

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"Come after Me and I will make you fishers of men." —Matthew 4:19

How many people have you led to the Lord in the first month of 2008? How many have you tried to reach out to? Many Christians are not fishing because they don't like ice-fishing. They reason that people's hearts are too cold to listen to the gospel message. Some Christians make the excuse that they'll fish later in the year when the fish are biting and the weather is warm. But that day never comes. The fish are not going to be biting any better tomorrow than today. Unbelievers are cold to the gospel message, or they wouldn't be unbelievers.

"But how shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how can they believe unless they have heard of Him? And how can they hear unless there is someone to preach?" (Rm 10:14) "Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!" (2 Cor 6:2)

Christians used to tell fish-stories about the big one that got away. Now we just tell "story-stories." We talk about our talk. Since we don't evangelize, we try to ease our consciences by at least discussing the latest Evangelization Seminar.

When will we spread the gospel as if believing in Jesus were a matter of life and death, of salvation and damnation? When we were baptized we received not a fishing license but a fishing mandate. We must fish; it's against the law not to.

Prayer:  Father, may there always be a "Gone Fishing" sign on the door of my life.

Promise:  "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." —Is 9:1

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who visited His terrified disciples and gave them the power to become powerful evangelizers.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Evangelization on audio AV 58-3 or video V-58.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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